By Regina Connell and Peter Harris.
This takes the prize for the best lo-fi thing we’ve seen this summer, maybe even this year: a 10 inch vinyl record called The Sounds of Making in East London.
It’s just what it says it is: a recorded journey through the workrooms, mini-factories, and studios of makers in East London.
It’s the brain (and hand) child of Dominic Wilcox, a Royal College of Art grad and designer who creates innovative, whimsical products, installations and experiences. Another of his projects? Wilcox vs 3D Printer, where he twice competed against a 3D Printer to make a model of first The Duomo, and then St Paul’s Cathedral. (He won both contests, though second result was a little dicey.)
Wilcox recorded the sounds of 21 makers (individuals and companies) at work, including Algha Works eyewear, London Fields Brewery, and St. Mary-le-Bow bell ringers. There’s also one of our favorite Brick Lane haunts (Beigel Bake) and Terry de Havilland shoe maker, and Sugru, the folks who’ve brought self-setting rubber to DIYers around the world.
This really is about the sounds: the chopping of garlic at a restaurant, the tapping of a cobbler’s hammer, the hammering of steel, and the opening of plastic curtains in the packaging area of a salmon curer.
As with so much in London this summer, this was in many ways brought about by the 2012 Olympics (many of the venues were based in East London.) Public Art advocate/organizer CREATE commissioned online retailer Thorsten van Elten to work with five designers to create well-considered souvenirs made in the UK, that draw on the heritage of East London. “The collection aims to be a desirable antidote to the overly-commercial, tacky souvenirs on sale across London this summer.” Good one, that.
What we love is that for once, it’s not all about the soft-focus eye-candy (though we admit an addiction for that particular confection.)
Now if we could only get the smells of making.
And yes, you get the MP3 recording if you buy the vinyl so those of us who foolishly ditched our turntables will be able to have a listen.
And in case you were wondering, yes, the vinyl was pressed in Hackney, in the East End.
All images courtesy of Dominic Wilcox, www.soundsofmaking.com.
Sounds of Making: http://www.soundsofmaking.com
List of featured East London makers: http://soundsofmaking.com/makers
East London history: http://www.eastlondonhistory.com
Terry de Havillan : http://www.tdhcouture.com
Sugru Self-Setting Rubber: http://www.sugru.com
Algha Works Eyewear: http://www.algha.com
London Fields Brewery: http://www.londonfieldsbrewery.co.uk
CREATE London: http://www.createlondon.org
Thorsten van Elten: http://www.theo-theo.com